Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
There were a total of 29 incidents reported this week in Baghdad Province; on par with the weekly average of 30 and a reduction on last week’s figures. This reduction in activity is likely attributable to the increased security posture in the capital for the month of Muharram and Ashura. ISF and community figures remained the prominent targets within the city, with shooting incidents being the most prevalent this week. Two VBIEDs were discovered in transit in the city, one at a checkpoint in New Baghdad and one close to the university in Jadriya. Increased activity was reported in the southern Baghdad district of Dora, an ethnically and religiously mixed neighbourhood that serves as a facilitation corridor between the capital and the outlying Sunni areas. The predominantly Sunni ‘Baghdadbelts’ continue to experience violence. In Tarmiya to the north of Baghdad, a Sahwa member was killed by gunmen, while to the west in Abu Ghraib, a local councillor and his two sons were shot dead. Shia pilgrims were also targeted by a VBIED while travelling through Mahmudiyah to the south of the capital, the device was subsequently disarmed.
Anbar reported a total of nine incidents during the period, a decrease on last week’s figure of 12 and below the weekly average for 2012. Eastern Anbar continues to be the main focus for Sunni Arab insurgents, although three IED incidents were reported in the west of the province. Following two weeks of vastly heightened levels of insurgent activity in Amiriya to the south of Fallujah, the town recorded no incidents this week, likely resultant from a series of ISF operations in the area. Most of this weeks incidents occurred in Fallujah and its environs, although violence is at much reduced levels compared to the summer months. In Fallujah, two soldiers were killed in separate SAF attacks on checkpoints. ISF operations in Karma to the north-east of Fallujah were evident this week, with a number of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) leaders arrested and a large cache being found. A single mortar round was reported to have killed a civilian in the town. Along the Euphrates River, an IED was reported to the west of Ramadi, an area which has seen a steep decline in insurgent activity in the last two months, and two IED incidents were reported in Hit to the northwest of Ramadi; all of these incidents targeted ISF.